Story [Troubled Waters] Formerly Known as Princess (Dear Diary Challenge) Entry 24: 7/19 Complete!

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  1. NYCitygurl NSWFF Manager

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    Author: NYCitygurl
    Title: Formerly Known as Princess
    Fandom: Twelve Waters by Sharon Shinn. I'm obsessed with her. She's a fantastic author!
    Characters: Josetta, Zoe, Foley, Darien, Corene, others
    Timeframe: Three years after the book ends
    Summary: Being 18 is hard, especially for a girl who is no longer a princess.
    Notes: Part of the 2012 Dear Diary Challenge.




    Formerly Known as Princess



    Entry One

    When I was born, I was a princess.

    I grew up thinking that my father was the king of Welce. Only five people knew the truth. Three of them are now dead. The king is one of them. My real father is another.

    Of course, now the whole world knows that King Vernon of Welce was, for most of his life, unable to make a child, a condition that only changed when he started taking a miracle drug to prolong his life. The whole world knows that I am not the daughter of a king but the daughter of a prominent member of one of the Five Families.

    I lost a place in my country?s hierarchy that I wasn?t sure I wanted, and I got a family in return.

    Not a bad trade, as far as I?m concerned.

    I no longer have to worry about scheming at the palace. I know longer have to worry about who the next ruler will be or wonder whether I?d be happier being named heir or having to step aside for one of my siblings.

    Instead, I have a mother who is more at ease with me, a sister who loves me more than anything, and an uncle and cousins who rushed into my life like a fiery blaze and have treasured me from the moment they learned I was theirs.

    But just because I have peace doesn?t mean I?m ever totally at piece.

    My sister?s aunt laughs sympathetically and says it is because I am 18, and 18-year-olds never have any peace. That is why she presented me with you ? a little bound book full of empty pages waiting for words.

    ?It?s a diary,? she said. ?Write down your thoughts, your daily activities. It will bring you peace of mind. And,? she added with a smile, ?you will read through it one day, and it will make you laugh.?

    I don?t know about the laughing part, but I wouldn?t mind a little peace sometimes. I?ll give this a try.

    My sister nodded in approval when I told her about the diary.

    ?I hope it gives you what you?re looking for,? she said.

    I asked her if she?d ever had a diary.

    She smiled. ?Oh, years ago,? she replied. ?When I was several younger than you, in fact. It was full of silly, childish things. You know, things 11-year-olds consider matters of great importance.?

    ?Have you ever read it as an adult? Sarone told me that she read her old diaries and they made her laugh.?

    She shook her head. ?No, I have no idea what happened to mine. I?m sure it?s long lost. But,? she added, ?I?m also sure it would make me laugh. I think this diary of yours is a good idea, Josetta.?

    My father, I?m told, highly valued the written word.

    He loved to read and write and, most of all, argue. I don?t need my sister to tell me that, because Navarr Ardelay is famous for it, even now, four years after his death and almost a decade and a half since his exile from the Welce court.

    He did not keep a diary, per se, but he recorded his daily thoughts almost meticulously. My uncle and sister dug up some of his writings when I asked for them, so even though I never knew him, I feel a connection with him. He was an intelligent man; that is obvious from his writing alone.

    And with those three recommendations for writing down thoughts, I will continue this diary.
    Last edited by NYCitygurl, Jul 19, 2014
  2. Mira_Jade The NSWFF Manager With The Cape

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    I LIKE this. =D=

    I have yet to get to this series, but I love the voice you have given Josetta here. And what an interesting set of circumstances! I look forward to following her story :D


    ~MJ @};-
  3. NYCitygurl NSWFF Manager

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    Mira: Thanks!! The book is actually a standalone, but it's become one of my favorites :D I definitely recommend it!!


    Entry Two

    My sweela uncle, Nelson Ardelay, is one of the most powerful men in the kingdom. But even though Nelson and his sons love me dearly, it is another who holds me closest.

    She is Zoe Lalinder. She is the beloved of the regent and is powerful in her own right: She is the coru prime, the head of the Lalinder house. Water listens to her, and the powerful Marasi obeys her whim; when Zoe Lalinder commands it to stop flowing, it stops.

    She is my sister.

    Zoe only spends time in Chialto, the capital city, when she must, as part of her duties as prime. She prefers to be away from the city, surrounded by nature (well, by water) at her own estate. I think that she wouldn?t even spend as much time in the city as she does, but her husband, Darien Serlast, is the regent, and she wants to be close to him.

    It is hot this time of the year, and even though Zoe swims at her aunt?s house every day, it is making her tired and irritable. In her usual abrupt manner, she has decided she is leaving. She does not say when she will be back (which I think irritates Darien), and she did not give anyone much notice of her departure (which also irritates Darien).

    But I do not care, because she is taking me with her.

    She and my mother have battled, though not harshly, for three years about me; my mother constantly remembers that Zoe is the reason I am alive today, but she does not want her to have control of my life. Now I am 18 and can make my own choices, and I choose to go with Zoe. Court can be stifling, and so can my mother. I am grateful for the chance to get away, and not just because it means time with my sister.

    Nelson, who loves both of us, smiles and wishes us a safe trip. My cousins give me big hugs. They would give Zoe the same rough and loving treatment (and Rahn does give her a large embrace), but they are being careful of her ever-widening stomach.

    (Which is the third reason Darien is not pleased about this trip, but even he can?t dissuade Zoe when she has made up her mind.)

    So in the morning, we?Zoe and I, and my guard Foley, and whoever Darien foists off on Zoe to watch her?are heading for the Lalinder estate.

    I must confess, I am excited. Even though I do not belong to the Lalinder family?Zoe inherited her power and her name from her mother?s side, but we only share a father?my sister has made me welcome there. I do not like being in the city. Too much is expected of me. I do not enjoy the press of the crowds, the gossip, the dangers lurking at court even for a girl who is no longer a princess.

    And even though Zoe is pregnant and irritable, I know that she will be more at peace in her home, and when it?s just the two of us, she?ll have plenty of time for me.

    Not that I?m jealous of Darien or Nelson or anyone else who takes Zoe?s time, but she is the person I love the most. It will be nice to spend some time with her alone. With the baby coming, we?ll have precious little of that in the future.

    I think she feels the same way, which is why she invited me. Me and only me?not her cousin Keeli, not Corene, not our Ardelay relatives. Just me.

    It will be a wonderful quinnahunti.

  4. Storms_Legacy Jedi Grand Master

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    Oooh! A Troubled Waters journal! This is so cool! I really love what you've done with this so far - Josetta's voice is really well defined and compelling. This is just brilliant!
  5. NYCitygurl NSWFF Manager

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    You've read Troubled Waters? So cool! I love Sharon Shinn and this book :D I'm glad you like it! Josetta has been a bit of a challenge, since she's rather quiet at times, but I hope she blossoms throughout this diary :)



    Entry Three

    Moving quickly, it can take four days to get to the Lalinder estate from Chialto. Darien, I know, usually pushes it, but Zoe was uncomfortable in the smoker car and wanted to move slowly. I had no objection; I just wanted to spend time with her.

    The smoker cars, or elaymotives, are the height of luxury with travel. They fit small bedrooms and kitchens, couches, and enough room to stretch. They are expensive, but if one can afford them ? and the Lalinder prime most certainly can ? they are worth the cost.

    Though even Zoe and I were sick of travel after five days. There is only so much staring out the window that can keep one occupied, and Zoe was sick most of the way. She is halfway through her pregnancy and did not appreciate the bouncing. She swears she could have swum to her house and been better off, though of course the coru prime, the head of the family whose power is through the water, would say such a thing.

    We had company along our journey, for in addition to Foley and two drivers, we were joined by two maidservants and another guard my mother and Darien absolutely insisted we take with us. My mother and brother-in-law rarely agree about much, so Zoe didn?t put much effort into protesting.

    When we finally arrived at the Lalinder seat, Zoe raced out of the car. Her butler, Hoden, was already waiting for us and probably had been since before we were within site. The fountain?s sprays became larger as Zoe walked past. The house welcomed her home.

    She and Hoden started talking before she was even through the door, but she gestured for me to join her, too.

    ?Are you hungry?? she asked. ?Hoden is bringing us a tray. I thought we could eat outside. Foley can join us, of course,? she added.

    I turned around to ask him, but he was assisting one of the maids. He looked up, and when he caught my eyes, he gestured for me to go ahead. Foley doesn?t trust very many people with me, but Zoe is one of them, and he knows I am safe with her here.

    ?No,? I told Zoe. ?Just us.?

    ?Good,? she replied, taking my arm. ?Let?s eat out on the porch; I?m nearly famished.? She rubbed her stomach and wrinkled her nose, which made me laugh.

    I will miss her time and attention when the baby comes, but I am excited to be an aunt. Besides, I have two quintiles with her here, because she says she will not go back to Chialto until she has the baby. I will use the time wisely.
  6. Mira_Jade The NSWFF Manager With The Cape

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    Aww, I am glad they are able to bond before the baby comes. That's when the fun will really begin. :p

    Very nicely done! I am definitely enjoying her 'voice' as you develop her. =D=


    ~MJ @};-
  7. NYCitygurl NSWFF Manager

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    Mira: [face_laugh] Fun for Josetta, yes. Fun for Zoe ... :p Thanks!! Glad you're enjoying :)



    Entry Four

    More than three years ago, during a traditional boat race along the Marisi River, I was almost killed as part of a plot to take the throne. After that, Zoe took me to her aunt Sarone?s house, which has a heated indoor pool, and taught me how to swim.

    Ever since, it has been our special thing, and we have returned to Sarone?s house more times than I can count. When we are here, at the Lalinder estate, we swim in the river.

    Zoe hurried us through the meal and barely let me have the time to change into a swimming outfit before she herded me to the river. She loves the water, my sister, now more than ever; her widening girth makes her back ache, and the water holds her weight.

    ?I could spend the rest of the warm months here,? she said gleefully as he relaxed in the river. The currents are weak, almost nonexistent, in this spot, so we can float to our hearts? content.

    ?I?ll join you,? I replied.

    Zoe reached out to grab my hand, giving it a squeeze. ?I?m glad you?re here,? she said simply. ?I would miss you so much if you were in Chialto.?

    ?I?m glad, too. I?m glad I have you all to myself for a while.?

    Zoe hugged me, and I returned it, delighted at the feeling of her belly between us. ?I?m sorry we don?t get more time together,? she started, but I shook my head. She has her own duties as one of the five primes and as the regent?s wife.

    ?I told everyone to stay away for a while, but I think we?ll have guests a few ninedays before the baby comes,? she continued. ?I know Darien will be here, at least. He?s actually taking time away from his duties, for once,? she said wryly.

    I laughed, but my stomach sank when I realized how many people would probably come ? the Serlasts, Darien?s family, would want to be here, and so would the Ardelays and Lalinders.

    I shook my head, determined to forget about how quickly time would pass. ?We have plenty of time with just us,? I said.

    ?Just us and Foley,? she reminded me with a wink.

    I could feel my cheeks turning red and quickly changed the subject. I did not want to think about Foley.

  8. Mira_Jade The NSWFF Manager With The Cape

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    Another nice bonding moment for the girls. Its going to be interesting to see the fireworks that'll come with such a mix. :D


    [:D]


    ~MJ @};-
  9. NYCitygurl NSWFF Manager

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    Thanks!

    Well, after six months off, I've decided to continue this diary. I'm having too much fun :p (Plus, there's a Troubled Waters sequel out next spring about Josetta!)



    Entry Five

    I suppose I must, at some point, write about Foley.

    He has been my guard for nearly five years. He has always been so serious about guarding me, protecting me. I suppose I could find it stifling, but it actually gives me comfort to know that he is watching me and watching out for me. Every time I look to find him, he is looking at me. For a while, he was the only one who seemed to care so much, and I valued him for it.

    Ever since the incident in the boat, he has taken extra care of me, and for a while, he needed to – the day Zoe flooded the city to save Corene, my sis—I mean, another former princess, who I thought was my sister. She took us away from the palace and the machinations and sent us away with her friends until things calmed down and we could return safely. Foley was the only one who went with us.

    We became closer, less formal, on that journey, and since then, I have felt his eyes on me even when he didn’t need to watch me.

    I don’t know how he feels about me. I don’t know how I feel about him, really. I have, for a long time, considered him a friend – one of my only true friends. And sometimes, when I catch him looking at me, I blush. Sometimes I wonder if he thinks I’m pretty. And then I hope he does, and I get so confused, because I’ve never felt that way before.

    I have told no one of my strange feelings except Zoe, who understands. She told me these feelings were normal and that it was okay if I felt this … wanting … for him.

    And she said we should maybe just keep it to ourselves for now, which is her way of saying to not tell my mother

    I’m not a princess anymore, but I’m in a sort of half-royal limbo because Darien wasn’t sure what to do with my sisters – former sisters – and I. So we still live at the palace and are guarded against and treated with the highest of honors.

    (Between you and me, I think it’s because I am his wife’s sister and Corene is his daughter, and he wants to keep us close, but he has never said.)

    I am also an Ardelay, daughter of one of the Five Families, the highest in the land except for the royal family. I can’t see my mother or my uncle Nelson approving of a match they see as so far beneath me.

    Zoe would, but Zoe is different.

    For now, I keep my feelings to myself until I can figure out what my feelings are.

    Do I want him? Does he want me? Do I want him to want me? I am so confused, and even writing it out does not seem to help.

    I have a season with him here, away from court and disapproving eyes, so I will have time to figure it all out.



  10. NYCitygurl NSWFF Manager

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    Entry Six

    The days pass slowly, since not many people are around (partially because most of the nobility live in Chialto or their own estates and partially because Zoe discouraged visitors for a while). The pace suits me. I can spend all day, every day, with my sister, swimming and eating and relaxing. It is slow but not boring.
    Zoe grows ever larger and grumbles at her increasing belly. I, however, am fascinated by my little niece or nephew. The baby has grown big enough – and kicks hard enough – for me to feel it inside Zoe. She complains about the uncomfortable feeling of being beaten up from the inside, but I love pressing my hand to her belly and feeling the baby move.
    I think it would be scary, to carry this alien being inside of me. But sometimes, when I see the delighted look on Zoe’s face as she absently rubs her stomach, I grow curious. It would be nice, one day, to feel a child like that. Not any time soon, of course, but perhaps someday.

    But as often as Zoe is excited, she is also tired. She has fallen into the habit of taking an afternoon nap, and I am left on my own for a few hours. I usually spent the hottest part of the day inside, relaxing and reading or just staring out the window at the Marisi.

    Today, however, I was so hot I could barely breathe; the house was stifling. I was determined to do something, anything, to cool off. That something, I saw as I caught a glimpse out the window, was a dip in the river.

    When Zoe started teaching me to swim, she said I must never go by myself. The water can be dangerous, even for a skilled swimmer.

    This is usually not a problem, since Zoe rarely says no to swimming, but the last thing I wanted was to interrupt her nap. So, for one of the first times since we arrived, I sought out Foley.

    I had not been avoiding him before, exactly, and I had certainly seen him plenty, since he was always nearby. Part of my inattention stemmed from the fact that my every waking moment seemed to be consumed by my sister … and part of it was my growing confusion about my feelings for him.

    Nevertheless, he was an old friend, so I saw no reason to not seek him out for this.

    Foley agreed to come with me – less out of a sense of pleasure (torz man that he is) and more out of a duty to guard me wherever I go. However, this was not our first swim together, even though he rarely got in the pool with me these days, so I was not uncomfortable with the idea.

    We changed into swimming clothes, and he followed me down to the river. It rushed a little faster than usual without Zoe there to calm the currents, though it was not too fast for a quick dip.

    I splashed in, anxious to get cool, and dunked my head under the water. When I surfaced, I saw that Foley was watching me carefully. I went back under and came up again, but his eyes never wavered.

    He swam close to me – close enough that I could have reached out and touched him (or, rather, he could have reached out and grabbed me before the current dragged me away). I floated on my back in the water, enjoying the sun, which, in contrast with the water, was no longer too hot to bear.

    I closed my eyes in the water, sure that Foley would never let me float away.

    The next thing I felt was the sensation of being lifted out of the water and carried in someone’s arms. I opened my eyes, though I knew Foley had grabbed me and brought me to land.

    “Huh?” I asked in a very un-princess-like manner.

    “You fell asleep,” Foley said quietly. “I didn’t want your skin to burn.”

    It had already several times; I am fair, though the sun was turning me a few shades darker. But it was sweet of Foley to care, to watch out for me like that. I don’t think most guards would care
    about the condition of their charge’s skin as long as she was safe.

    When we reached the bank, he set me on my feet. I was unsteady and first and reached out to him. His hand grabbed mine, and I felt a shiver go through me, despite the warm day.

    I let go quickly, and we walked back to the house in silence.
    Last edited by NYCitygurl, Dec 7, 2012
  11. Nyota's Heart Combos & Paragraphs Host

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    Oh this is cool! I haven't read this yet, but you bring the characters to life: i.e., the sisters and their closeness and Josetta's somewhere in the middle situation [face_thinking] I also like her crushing on Foley ;) Tag me please when you update again. :D I shall see about getting this book. Woot, I've discovered so many interesting fandoms in here LOL like Dr. Who :cool: and Tangled.
  12. NYCitygurl NSWFF Manager

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    @Jade_eyes I'm so glad you like it! You should DEFINITELY get this book. Sharon Shinn is my absolute favorite author of all time ... and knowing how you love great couples, I think you'd really like her work :D

    I'm going to warn you, this diary will totally spoil all the fabulous twists, though :p



    Entry Eight

    I have mentioned that I never knew my father, but that I was conceived while his wife was still alive. I think it’s time to explain. Not that you, journal, care, but to organize my own thoughts. And, like Sarone said, perhaps one day I’ll find it funny. Or perhaps one day I’ll need to remember what I thought about it.

    Navarr Ardelay was the brother of the fire prime and the son-in-law of the water prime. He was also a close confidant of the king.

    When my fath—that is, King Vernon, realized he was infertile, men were secretly brought to his wives so as not to create a panic about the succession. My mother was the first. Navarr Ardelay was asked to father me, though he came to my mother in disguise; until the king was dying and Zoe laid claim to me, she had no idea who her lover had been.

    Well, I was born, and no one was the wiser. But years later, after Alieta Lalinder died, her mother discovered the truth. Zoe explained it to me—the coru, the water, prime can feel the pulse, the blood flowing through a person via touch. Their ancestry is coated in their blood. That is how Zoe discovered I am her sister, and that is how Christara Lalinder discovered that Navarr had cheated on his wife.

    She threatened to expose him; she told the king to be wary of an Ardelay play for power. So my real father was exiled and took Zoe with him. For the ten long years before his death, they lived in the west, unfound. It was only as he was dying that Navarr sent a message for someone to come for Zoe.

    Zoe, who was her grandmother’s heir. Her grandmother, who died two years before Navarr, still searching for her granddaughter.

    Zoe still hasn’t forgiven her father for his deceit in keeping that from her.

    I never got to meet my father. I am in turns fascinated by him and awed by him, even as a ghost. I often wonder what he would have thought about me. I wonder, if he had lived a year longer, if he would have claimed me as quickly and eagerly as Zoe. I like to hope so, but I’ve never asked Zoe what she thinks. I don’t want to know.

    I try to ignore the shadow my dead father casts. My living sister casts a larger one (and no, that’s not a joke about her ever-expanding stomach), and she has enfolded me in it, making me a part of her, even though she so easily could have walked away or just let my father’s family claim me. I love her so much for that.
    Last edited by NYCitygurl, Jan 9, 2013
  13. Nyota's Heart Combos & Paragraphs Host

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    Thanks for the tag and wonderful reflections. =D= Zoe sounds more loving and lovable the more I read of her. :D
  14. NYCitygurl NSWFF Manager

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    @Jade_eyes She really is a wonderful sister.



    Entry Nine

    This isn’t the first time Zoe has invited me to the Lalinder estate. She visits as much as she can, and she often brings me with her. She likes to escape from the politicking in Chialto, but she says she doesn’t like to be completely isolated for nine-days on end. Darien often cannot escape (at least, not for the whole time), so Zoe allows me to join her.

    I’ve never stayed for this long, but I must admit, I don’t mind. The estate is peaceful. I don’t mind being all alone except for Zoe and the house staff; I’ve never liked big crowds of people.

    And I love the river. It makes its way to the capital, but I think it is especially lovely here, as if it knows this is the Lalinder home. That’s probably just fanciful thinking—the Lalinder who first built the house must have built it here because he or she liked the river here, not the other way around—but I, child of air that I am, find it soothing.

    After my adventure in the lake with Foley a couple weeks ago, I haven’t been swimming without Zoe. But I have started making a daily habit of walking down to the river’s edge to watch the sun set.

    Foley follows me, even here, ever silent and watchful. We haven’t spoken much since that day, and I don’t know how to broach the subject. What can I say? What does he feel?

    I mourn the easy companionship I once felt with him. These feelings are far too confusing.

    I usually go back inside before it gets too dark, but today, I wanted to hang on to those last little rays of light as if they could tell me what to do. The water was still warm against my feet, and with Foley watching my back, I felt completely safe.

    But when the light had faded almost completely, he finally spoke up. “It’s dark. We should go back inside, Princess Josetta.”

    Part of me wanted to push back and insist that we stay here, if only just to see what would happen. But I couldn’t summon the courage, so I stood and slipped my sandals back on.

    Foley waited for me to walk in front of him. As I passed, I stopped briefly and looked at his face. He stared back, all emotions hidden.

    I wasn’t sure what I could say that would make him understand what I felt, so I only said, “I’m not a princess anymore,” before I headed back him and went back inside.

    He followed me, two paces behind, as silent as my shadow.
    Last edited by NYCitygurl, Jan 14, 2013
  15. Nyota's Heart Combos & Paragraphs Host

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    Foley seems more at a loss than Josetta. He doesn't know how to navigate these new waters. [face_thinking] Kiss her and mean it buddy LOL ;) [face_dancing] This, from the avid queen of mush-loving. :) Your description of the estate sounds tranquil and gorgeous. :D
  16. Mira_Jade The NSWFF Manager With The Cape

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    Oh, I remember reading this! I just reread the entries to re-catch myself back up. But I have to say, I really like the softness and the sweet pace of this. I am really enjoying this look into Josetta's thoughts. [face_love] And that last interaction with Foley - great job with saying so much with so little. =D=
    Jade_eyes likes this.
  17. NYCitygurl NSWFF Manager

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    @Jade_eyes He is really unsure. He's had feelings for her for years, but she doesn't quite know what she wants, and he's having trouble not viewing her as a princess anymore (and even then, she's still very noble and he's still very not).


    Mira: Thanks! I'm glad you still enjoy it :)



    Entry Ten

    Despite what I’d hoped was a smooth reply, I tossed and turned all night, replaying the scene in my head, wondering what I should have said or done and what he would have said or done in response.

    In a couple of my dreams, he bent down and kissed me, but in my waking hours, I just couldn’t see him doing that.

    When I dragged myself down to breakfast, Zoe was cheerfully annoying. She had decided that a sunny day was the perfect time to lounge in the sitting room, surrounded by breakfast pastries. In a very un-princess-like way, I slouched across the time from her.

    She looked at me with surprise. “Are you feeling okay?”

    I nodded, picking at a pasty, and mumbled something about not sleeping well. Zoe nodded, looking unconvinced.

    Normally, she would gently—or not-so-gently—prod until she was sure I was okay. I’m not sure if she was preoccupied by other matters or decided that out here, cut off from the world, nothing too bad could be troubling me, because she left me alone. It was a quiet breakfast.

    After she was done eating—and I was done pretending to eat—Zoe stood up and stretched. “I think I’m going for a walk by the river. Would you like to come?

    Normally, I would have, but I was still tired and not exactly in a sunny mood. “I think I’m going back to bed.”

    Zoe bent down—not an easy task these days—and kissed my forehead. “I’m here if you want to talk,” she said gently. “Sleep well.”

    Blissfully, after I trudged back upstairs and flopped down on my bed, I did manage to fall asleep, too tired to even dream.
  18. Nyota's Heart Combos & Paragraphs Host

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    Aww, :( poor thing. It must be hard not being comfortable to confide, not knowing what you would confide if you did :p [face_thinking] And not wanting to eat LOL - whew! The only times that has happened to me, I'm totally and undisputably sick ;) do live to eat LOL Sad she can't imagine him kissing her... I do believe that has held back many soulmate pairings... hello! Eagerly awaiting the next post. [:D] @};-
    Last edited by Jade_eyes, Jan 20, 2013
  19. Mira_Jade The NSWFF Manager With The Cape

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    Oh the poor thing. :( It's sad to see her so sad here - although her imagining him kissing her was nice. I look forward to when they are both able to sort through what they feel. [face_love]
  20. NYCitygurl NSWFF Manager

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    Jul 20, 2002
    star 9
    Jade_eyes: [face_laugh] I know the feeling! :p She really does need to just take charge and jump him, doesn't she? :p

    Mira: She definitely needs a little more introspection--and a heart-to-heart or two :p --before she'll really know what she wants. Or be able to admit it :p



    Entry Eleven

    Foley never said anything more, but he still shadowed me, night after night, as I went down to the river to watch the sun set. I briefly considered staying late every night, if only to see what would happen, but every night, I went back inside as soon as I saw the sun fall over the horizon.

    If Zoe noticed my confusion about the situation—and I’m sure she did; she noticed everything, and she had the power to feel my heart skip a beat every time he walked into the room, besides—she never said anything to me.

    “Darien and Corene will be here soon,” she said one more at breakfast instead.

    My head jerked up. “Already?” I lost track of the days here. It was so easy to forget that the warm months would be ending soon.

    Zoe nodded. “Darien’s worried about missing this.” She rubbed her belly. “And I think he wants to spend some time away from the chaos in Chialto before he spends half the night awake with a baby.” She grinned; my sister certainly wouldn’t let her husband get away with not taking his share of caring for the baby. Not that he would try to get out of it.

    “I’m sure there will be emissaries going back and forth and invading my peace and quiet all the time,” Zoe griped, “but there’s no other way to keep the regent out of the city for a couple months.”

    “He gets to stay here for that long?”

    Zoe nodded. “Nelson and Mirti” –our uncle and Darien’s aunt, two of the five primes— “will visit for a bit, I’m sure, but they and Taro Frothen have kindly agreed to stay in the city during Darien’s absence. I’m sure they can handle things. I trust Uncle Nelson entirely.”

    Code for Zoe throwing her support toward our uncle in any sort of power struggle among the primes. For someone who says she hates politics and regularly tries to throw a wrench in them, Zoe has become good at this.

    “I hope Uncle Nelson comes! And your aunt and Keeli.”

    Zoe smiled. “I’m sure they won’t be much behind Darien, so the four of us won’t have much time together.”

    “Soon, it’ll be the five of us,” I said happily. “I wonder how long it’ll take him to say ‘Aunt Josetta’?” If Zoe referred to the baby as I boy, I would, too.

    Zoe laughed. “As soon as possible, if he knows what’s go for him!”

    So we ended the breakfast on a happy note. And even though I’ll be happy to see the visitors, I’m aware that my summer with my sister is about to come to an end.
  21. Nyota's Heart Combos & Paragraphs Host

    Game Host Game Winner
    Member Since:
    Aug 31, 2004
    star 6
    Nice more cheery update. :)
  22. Mira_Jade The NSWFF Manager With The Cape

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2004
    star 4
    And the plot is thickening! :D I can't wait to meet the visitors - and the baby too. [face_love]

    Another great update. =D=
  23. NYCitygurl NSWFF Manager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2002
    star 9
    @Jade_eyes Thanks!

    Mira: Thanks! THey'll both be here soon :)


    Entry Twelve

    Zoe’s announcement gave me a sense that whatever I was going to do—whatever was going to happen with Foley—it had to happen now. Zoe gave me unlimited freedom, but while Darien tried his best not to tell me what to do, I knew he would be keeping an eye on me. And not necessarily an approving one.

    After all, I am a potential bargaining chip. I don’t think he’d try to marry me off to someone from a foreign kingdom—he was still shaken by the king’s misguided attempt to marry Corene off—but he’d certainly try to guide me. For all that he and Zoe made a love match, they’re both from the Five Families—as am I. And Foley is nowhere near that.

    I’d hate to think that urgency was my only reason for acting, but it certainly made me end my dawdling. I felt I had to make a decision before Darien arrived.

    That night, I took my usual late stroll by the river. As always, Foley shadowed me silently.

    I sat by the bank and dipped by feet into the water. Foley sat down next to me—within reach, but certainly not an intimate distance.

    We sat for a while as I gathered my courage.

    This is it. This is want you want. Take a chance. Leap.

    I turned to him and found him watching me. Still somewhat hesitant, I scooted closer, pleased that he didn’t move away.

    He was never going to be the one to speak first, I thought. Even though I was no longer a princess, I was still one of the Five Families; a sister to one prime and niece to another. And he was not. He would never get over that unless I made the first move.

    I had considered carefully for days what I would say, what I would do. In the end, it was easy. I didn’t say a word. I just leaned closer and kissed him.

    My first kiss.

    It was marvelous.

    He didn’t pull away, as I’d half-feared he would. He leaned closer to me, leaned into the kiss. His lips were soft, I remember thinking. And his hand on my face was so gentle.

    When he did pull back, he stared into my eyes, looking solemn. I couldn’t help smiling, though. The kiss had felt wonderful. My lips were tingling, and I was breathing faster, as though I’d just been running.

    “Josetta,” he said, and the first time he’d ever called me that.

    I was elated. No matter what happened next, I was ready. I knew what I wanted.
    Jade_eyes likes this.
  24. Nyota's Heart Combos & Paragraphs Host

    Game Host Game Winner
    Member Since:
    Aug 31, 2004
    star 6
    Good morning, this was a very nice update. ... SQUEE! Oh yes! [face_dancing] [face_laugh] Very, very nice. :D [:D]
  25. Mira_Jade The NSWFF Manager With The Cape

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2004
    star 4
    This was so wonderfully lovely! Soft and poignant - the perfect first kiss. [face_love]

    It looks like they have quit the road ahead of them, but at least now they have their path picked out. :)
    Jade_eyes likes this.
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